The Airbus Future Jet Trainer (AFJT) is an all-new, all-modern light-class jet-powered aircraft proposal being evolved by Airbus Spain. The type was originally drawn up to succeed an aging line of CASA C-101 "Aviojet" Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) currently employed by the Spanish Air Force but has now broadened in its market reach to serve most any European power seeking a modern AJT solution. While the Spanish Air Force eventually selected the Swiss-originated Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer for its standing requirement, the AFJT is still viewed as a tempting upgrade to those air services continuing to rely on such Cold War-era (1947-1991) types as the Dassault-Dornier "Alpha Jet" and BAe Systems "Hawk".
The AFJT program has been in active development since 2017 and would compare to contemporizes in the Boeing-Saab T-7A "Red Hawk" and the South Korean KAI T-50 "Golden Eagle" AJTs - the latter retaining a limited ability to carry air-dropped/air-launched stores.
Base on concept imagery, the proposed design includes tandem seating behind a slender nosecone assembly with each crewman housed under clear, wide-view canopies. Wing mainplanes are attached to wing root extensions and sport sweep back along the leading edges and clipped tips. The empennage is dominated by a single vertical fin with traditional low-mounted placement of the horizontal planes. At the base of the fin is the single exhaust port of the intended turbofan engine. A retractable tricycle undercarriage for ground-running is assumed as is an all-digital cockpit workspace and Fly-by-Wire (FbW) control scheme.
Engines at play currently (2020) include the Eurojet EJ200 (as used in the Eurofighter Typhoon multirole fighter) and the Safran M88 from Dassault. While only one powerplant would be fitted to the proposed airframe, the turbofan would be reheat-capable to better train upcoming airmen in the nuances of transonic flight. Aspiration for the unit would be through a twin-intake arrangement, the openings positioned to either side of the fuselage feeding the air-breathing engine installation.
As with other modern AJTs, it is more than likely that the AFJT would be given some sort of light attack capability to match well against competing types like the KAI T-50.
If the product comes to fruition, the AFJT would enter a global AJT market that currently sees many viable options beyond just the in-development Boeing-Saab and the in-service KAI offerings. Nevertheless the design has gained local approval by Spanish authorities for both its potential local economic and global military impact and a prototype's first-flight is tentatively scheduled for 2025. Should the project evolve without issue, first-deliveries by customers would be had in or around 2027 with Initial Operating Capability (IOC) reached sometime before the end of the decade.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
Developed ability to be used as a dedicated trainer for student pilots (typically under the supervision of an instructor).
✓- Training (Advanced)
Dedicated advanced training platform for student pilots having graduated from basic flight training.
45.9 ft (14.00 m)
32.8 ft (10.00 m)
13.1 ft (4.00 m)
7,055 lb (3,200 kg)
12,125 lb (5,500 kg)
+5,071 lb (+2,300 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Airbus Spain AFJT production variant)
1 x Eurojet EJ200 or Dassault Safran M88 afterburning turbofan engine of unknown thrust raiting.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.